Placing a loved one in a nursing home is among the hardest decisions we can ever make. The decision can be agonizing for both the family and the loved one. The only thing that makes the decision bearable is believing that the loved one will be in a safe and caring environment.
Sadly, many nursing homes provide anything but a safe and caring environment. Instead, our loved ones are often neglected, sometimes severely neglected, occasionally abused, and quite frequently subjected to unsafe, unclean, and unprofessional medical practices.
If your loved one has been seriously injured as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, you, your family and your loved one have rights. The Albuquerque Attorneys of Collins & Collins, P.C. are here to help. Give us a call or contact us online.
In the meantime, we hope that you find some helpful information here to help guide you through this very difficult and stressful time.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect are a Growing Problem
Nursing home abuse and neglect have become one of the nation‘s largest growing problems. It is estimated that one in three nursing homes has been reported for abuse. This number may significantly understate the true problem, this statistic is troubling because nursing home abuse potentially affects 1.6 million nursing home residents. The problem is likely to grow much worse with the nursing home population snowballing with the aging of the baby boom generation.
Many Types of Abuse: Family Should be Aware of Signs
There are numerous varieties of nursing home abuse, including physical abuse or neglect, psychological abuse and neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. It is crucial for family members to watch for signs of nursing home abuse.
Residents are often afraid to report abuse on their own for numerous reasons. They may not want to burden their family. They may simply be passive or unaware of the fact that the treatment constitutes abuse and not simply business as usual. In some cases, they may even fear retaliation and, even worse, mistreatment in the case of a report.
Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
The causes of nursing home abuse are many. One main contributing factor is that many nursing home personnel are underpaid, underqualified, and undertrained. This is astonishing in light of the profits generated by the industry as a whole.
These issues reflect, in part, the negligent hiring of unqualified staff. A more serious problem is hiring employees with a history of abuse and neglect. It is not unusual for an abusive employee to have a history of abusive or negligent conduct in prior jobs.
The hiring processes are often the root of the problem. No amount of training will rehabilitate some of these folks and there is no excuse for putting incompetent or, worse yet, abusive staff in charge of the care of our innocent and vulnerable loved ones.
Right to Recovery for Injuries and Damages
The recovery for victims of nursing home abuse is dependent upon the circumstances of abuse and neglect and the resultant injuries. These will include all the damages in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Other circumstances may also affect recoveries, such as the history of the facility and the history of the perpetrator(s) of the abuse. Some facilities do not learn from mistakes and continue abusive and neglectful practices despite complaints and claims.
In addition, an abusive staff member typically does not come with a clean slate. He or she often has a history. Unfortunately, employee screening of nursing home employees is often negligent in itself. A history of abuse on the part of the perpetrator and the failure to screen by the employer is an essential factor in a nursing home abuse claim.
The injuries can cover a spectrum of damages, including severe physical injuries, medical expenses, mental anguish, wrongful death and everything in between. Proof of damages will often involve extensive attorney time and significant expert witness assistance and costs. The expert witnesses, who will be medical professionals, nursing home professionals, staffing professionals,s or the like, are critical to these claims.
Do Not Delay
Nursing home claims carry the same deadlines as other personal injury claims. You should understand these deadlines and ensure you do not miss one. Missing a deadline will bar your claims completely.
Keep in mind that deadlines vary depending on the type of defendant. In other words, the deadlines for claims against government run facilities are much shorter than those against private entities.
However, first and foremost, if you loved one is being abused or neglected; you should take steps to protect your loved one. This above all should be the focus of your efforts.